Answering Your Questions About Roofing

Putting Christmas Lights around Your Home? Clean Algae off Your Asphalt Roof First

by Donald Evans

If you are planning to put up Christmas lights, you should consider cleaning your asphalt roof to remove algae first. Your lights will draw people's eyes up, and they will see your roof. If you have a lot of lights hanging, people may notice them during the day. Your lights will look even more beautiful if they are hanging off a clean roof. Below are some tips on how you can get rid of algae so you can have a beautiful home this Christmas.

Clean Algae

If you have black streaks on your roof, you have algae growing on it. This is often caused by water sitting on the roof after it rains. Algae spores from nearby roofs can also be spread to your roof by the wind, and, once the spores get on your roof, they will start to grow.

Before you start cleaning your roof, make sure it is not under warranty. If it is, you can void the warranty if you clean the roof on your own. The warranty papers may state you must have a professional clean your roof.

If you don't have a warranty, then one of the best ways you can remove the algae is by using a pressure washer. You should use a wand that is approximately at a 35-degree angle. Attach the wand and put a cleaning solution made to remove algae for asphalt roofs into the pressure washer. A 50/50 mixture of bleach and water works well too.

It is important that you pressure wash at an angle as applying direct pressure on the shingles can damage them.

Wear shoes that have non-slip, soft soles so you do not slip and so the shoes will not damage the shingles. Climb up on the roof and start at the highest point on your roof. Set the pressure washer on the lowest setting and start washing downward in the direction of the shingles. Wash a section at a time until the entire roof is clean. If you have stubborn areas, you can hold the wand a little closer to see if the algae will peel off.

Prevent Algae from Coming Back

You cannot 100% prevent algae from coming back, but there are some things you can do to help prevent it. First, trim any tree branches that hang over your roof. This allows more sunlight to shine on the roof to dry it quicker after it rains.

Use a leaf blower to remove debris from the roof. Leaves and other debris sitting on the roof can obstruct airflow and hold in moisture. Keep your gutters clean so water will drain from the roof.

A roofing contractor like Allen Roofing & Construction Inc can give you more information about cleaning your asphalt shingles and, if the algae damage is extensive, can advise you on repairs or replacement.